May 18, 2007

No tough talk till you know you can win

The Doonesbury web site is reporting that Paul Wolfowitz, referring to several senior staff members at the World Bank, said: "If they f*** with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to f*** them too." Tough talk. But one really should save one's tough talk for cases in which one knows one can win. When I posted "Stupid prophylactic public statement blather" on April 23, I was of course (did you ever doubt it?) thinking more of Mr Wolfowitz than anyone else, and I knew with certainty that he would be resigning soon (though heaven knows there are plenty of other public figures who will need to get their staff to write some stupid prophylactic public statement blather for them pretty soon as well).

Applications to be the next president of the World Bank are now being sought; you could follow James Wolfensohn (did I say Wolfenden when I first typed this?) and Paul Wolfowitz in this job. But first, you must be well in with the United States executive branch, because it is a tradition at the bank that the President of the USA chooses the Bank's president; and second, because of another little-known linguistic regulation at the bank, your name will have to be Wolf, Wolfe, Wolfberg, Wolfcraft, Wolfensberger, Wolfensohn, Wolfenstein, Wolfer, Wolferen, Wolferman, Wolfgang, Wolfinger, Wolfman, Wolfmark, Wolford, Wolfowitz, Wolfram, Wolfsberger, Wolfsburg, Wolfschmidt, Wolfson, Wolftrap, or Wolfy. Good luck.

Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at May 18, 2007 12:56 AM